Hours feel like days. Weeks seem like months. Every community is feeling the health and economic effects of COVID-19 in many different ways and there are no easy answers. Yet, we keep moving forward because the families, patients, and communities we serve need support more than ever.
During this crisis, EHF remains strategically focused on the importance of addressing the underlying community conditions that lead to poor health. That’s because we believe improving health, not just health care not only leads to better health outcomes, it also helps those with the least resources become more resilient to battle a crisis like COVID-19. Tragic events are experienced even more deeply by low-income communities or those living in a neighborhood that just doesn’t have access to the services needed to be healthy. To do this important work, we know that the organizations, clinics, and congregations supported by EHF must remain strong and effective both now and in the future.
We are grateful to our current grantees and partners who help us realize our vision of healthy communities for all. That’s why EHF’s COVID-19 response plans will focus on these organizations. We’ll continue our strategic, active investment with almost 100 organizations by catering EHF response plans to helping the organizations with additional resources as we work through the COVID-19 crisis together.
Our first step is offering immediate technical assistance to current grantees and partners interested in applying for federal government aid programs. EHF will provide consultants who can help organizations navigate the application process for available federal funds. This specialized assistance will help organizations identify and apply for relevant programs in hopes it’ll limit the burden and stress organizations face when requesting these resources. Eligible grantees and partners will be notified with specific instructions on how to begin the technical assistance process.
EHF is also considering additional COVID-19 relief programs for current grantees and partners including grant and loan programs. We’re currently developing the specific requirements, eligibility criteria, potential loan and grant award amounts, and other necessary details. As the final programs develop, we’ll send out updates and share the complete information and application instructions.
In addition to providing financial resources, EHF is establishing projects to help our communities respond to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We are planning an extensive research project similar to EHF’s groundbreaking survey conducted after Hurricane Harvey. The project’s goal would be to provide leaders working on relief efforts with reliable information about Texans’ needs and priorities for ongoing recovery. EHF is also working with partners across the state to develop a program to support those facing social isolation during this crisis. Right now, we are focused on establishing a scalable program that would connect volunteers electronically with seniors, nursing home residents, and others who have become even more isolated from others due to COVID-19. Again, we’ll provide more information as these projects develop.
As we said before, we may not have all the answers to solve this crisis, but we’re all in this TOGETHER. If you have specific questions about a current grant, program, or new program we’re considering, please feel free to reach out to a member of EHF’s staff. Improving community health requires a team effort, especially in times like this. We’re committed to doing our part.